Exploring Global Family Traditions: From Festive Feasts to Must-Dos and Don’ts

Family traditions are the heart and soul of every culture. They are the rituals, ceremonies, and customs that are passed down from generation to generation, shaping our identities and giving us a sense of belonging. From festive feasts to must-dos and don’ts, family traditions vary greatly around the world, reflecting the rich diversity of our global community. In this article, we will explore some of these traditions, providing a glimpse into the unique ways in which families celebrate, commemorate, and connect with each other.

Festive Feasts

Food is a universal language that brings people together, and this is especially true during festive occasions. In many cultures, certain dishes are prepared only during specific holidays or celebrations, making them a much-anticipated treat.

  • In the United States, Thanksgiving is synonymous with turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, a feast that commemorates the Pilgrims’ first successful harvest in the New World.

  • In China, families gather for a reunion dinner during Chinese New Year, where dishes like dumplings, fish, and glutinous rice cakes are served, each symbolizing good luck and prosperity.

  • In Mexico, Christmas is celebrated with a late-night feast that includes tamales, bacalao (salted cod), and ponche, a warm fruit punch.


Every culture has its own set of must-dos, activities that are considered essential during certain occasions.

  • In India, it’s a must to light oil lamps during Diwali, the festival of lights, to symbolize the victory of light over darkness.

  • In Japan, families visit their ancestral graves during Obon, a Buddhist event that honors the spirits of one’s ancestors.

  • In Sweden, dancing around the maypole is a must during Midsummer, a celebration of the summer solstice.


Just as there are must-dos, there are also don’ts, actions that are considered taboo or bad luck.

  • In many cultures, it’s considered bad luck to open an umbrella indoors.

  • In Thailand, it’s considered disrespectful to touch someone’s head, as it’s regarded as the most sacred part of the body.

  • In Russia, it’s considered bad luck to shake hands or pass something over the threshold of a door.

These are just a few examples of the myriad family traditions that exist around the world. Each one tells a story, offering a glimpse into the values, beliefs, and history of a culture. They remind us that, despite our differences, we all share a common human experience, one that is enriched by our diverse traditions.